9 amazing living room ideas from AD PRO guide designers
Sarah Bengor’s apartment “embodies my style, my ability to combine styles and eras, and most of all, my love of color,” says the New York designer. For her, the richly colored paintings are lively and calming at the same time. Her living room is a place where she is just as likely to meditate in the morning as she is to relax in the evening after work. Here, Turkish tiles and pillows made from antique Central Asian Suzani textiles coincide with custom lampshades and a Bordeaux shade designed by her own company. “I’m a selective shopper; I like to source from everywhere,” says Benjour. “Some items are travel souvenirs, others are extensively researched. There’s no one part of a room that’s the highlight, and I think that’s what sets it apart – when all the layers of a space come together harmoniously.
In Austin’s historic Clarksville district, local designer Avery Cox overhauled a 1930s bungalow without sacrificing any of its original style. Wanting to keep the wood panels on the ceiling and walls intact, she kept the intimate volume of the room intact and created alternative solutions. “By choosing pieces that require space and visual weight, like an antique sofa and an antique bar, you can create the feeling that the room is larger than it really is,” she explains. The living room—one part of a spacious great room that spans a dining space and kitchen—mixes a Waves coffee table from Minotti and a side table from The Lacquer Company with a rug from Kyle Bunting rug, lighting from Soane and EJR Barnes, and brass lampshades by Matilda Goad & Co. . As for the artwork, Cox says, “The size of the piece and the size of the composition make a bold statement and anchor the room.”
When designer Jennifer Koehler Mason was assigned the living room of an Upper East Side townhouse as part of the Kips Bay Decorator Show House, she set out to conjure magic far beyond the loft. Luxurious textiles, including a saffron Todd Merrill Studio sofa, sunny blue Karl Springer pillows, and cool metallic Holly Hunt shades, set the tone in the lounge-like space, with a built-in wet bar. A pair of 1950s French club chairs by Guy Regal flank the fireplace, while “a simple bronze Studio Van Den Akker cocktail table is sculptural form meets functional perfection,” says Kohler Mason. An iridescent plaster paint treatment creates an inviting glow on the walls, while on the ceiling, “Holland & Sherry custom wallpaper in sky blue was cut into squares and applied in different directions, giving another dimension to the room.”
An art book published by Taschen served as designer Merrilee McGehee’s starting point for the living room in her remodel of a farmhouse-style home in Austin. Her team wrote down which pages spoke to customers, and then improved those features along the way. “The round green wallpaper from Shagreen Art matched with two hot pink velvet chairs from Chivasso calls for pop art, but we also believe every room needs something vintage to keep the space timeless,” she says. In this case, it was the Murano chandelier from 1stDibs that “softened the palette, so we could put the sparkling gold-brushed brass coffee table from States by G,” she continues. “Curves all work together but are even more enhanced when they have a contrasting but complementary counterpart, like the Designers Guild’s Cubist sofa fabric with its sharp vertical design.”
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